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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Photos Of The Day: 2nd Annual "Tour Of Croatia" Cycling Stage Races Officially Concluded (+Video)







Croatian rider Matija Kvasina for the Synergy Baku team, was the unexpected surprise winner of this years Tour of Croatia. Seen above celebrating after the final stage in Zagreb.





I was originally going to do a post about "Walmart People" which is al the rage. You know, all those pics and even numerous blogs, Youtube videos and websites all over the internet that are devoted to this topic, some real doozies that's for sure. It would have ended up being too long of a post though, there were just too many photos I would have ended up adding, and then even my own personal Walmart stories from over the years would have been just too much information to post. And all the constant and incessant extremists, homegrown terrorism and fundamentalists news on the television is boring the fuck out of me too, that's just the local stuff and not what's going on overseas, and that's on top of all the local shooting stabbing, drug deals, and the phobic phobics and protesting protestors news.

So as promised last week, here's some interesting photos and bonus video footage from the 2016 Tour of Croatia cycling stage races that just wrapped up a few days ago, highlights of the last 3 stages that finishes this topic. (Hit the link below to see highlights of the first 3 stages) It's only the 2nd annual edition of this international sporting event, but already it's being televised live across the world to over 54 countries and watched by over 15 million viewers.

I watched some of the racing stages live and on video and I have to say, this one had everything. I don't follow and haven't watched even 1 whole stage race before, except maybe during the Olympics, but over the course of the 6 days there was plenty of drama, suspense, thrills, spills, chills, intestinal fortitude, supernatural, paranormal, balloons, intrigue, surprises, wines, flags, costumes, cool scenery and aerial views and much more. Lots of people and especially the kids in the less urban areas along the cycling routes had a blast cheering on the riders passing through. I learned a lot that I didn't know before and have a new found appreciation for this very physically and mentally demanding sport. (You know, I might even go out and get a racing bicycle again, and maybe down the road I'll join one of those teams and even race in the Tour of Croatia also, because I did see some cool looking jerseys and hats. I'll probably have to do some training first though, so maybe in 2018 or 2019)

Firstly and out of nowhere, Matija Kvasina (Synergy Baku team) won the overall title after moving into the lead on the fourth stage and protecting his lead through to the 6th stage, in the end winning the Tour of Croatia in front of a home crowd. He finished with an overall lead of 24 seconds on Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff Team) and 34 seconds ahead of third placed Víctor De La Parte (CCC Sprandi Polkowice). Even another Croatian rider, Radoslav Rogina of the Adria Mobil team, placed 5th overall just 1:16 behind the winner. (See full individual results at the very bottom of this post)

The 3rd stage made things interesting as the team time trials were complicated by some early rain and wet roads combined with temperatures lowering to around 6 degrees, which caused the riders to switch tactics and techniques to rely more on instinct to ride the slippery roads. (There's no rain delays or cancellations in cycle stage racing, and unlike in baseball. theres no breaks or timeouts to stretch, yawn or get rid of dingelberries. It's all about hours of non-stop adrenaline, concentration and conditioning and preparedness) I liked the whole concept and organization of this sporting event, and the choice of the various stages routes, having a Croatian rider win on home ground was just a fitting bonus.

And incredibly out of nowhere again, just the day after the Tour of Croatia was officially completed, those old chthonic primordial Hyperborean gods sent some surprises too, just to let everyone know that they're still here and watching below. A sudden spell of subzero temperatures and light snow quickly blanketed large parts of the coast even to the island of Brač near Dubrovnik, covering the very routes where the racers were riding just 24 hours before.




Images from the day after near Rijeka and coastal areas showing what the riders could have had to deal with. It would have been pretty hard turning the corners and climbing the hills to say the least.










Like I said before, I really like the whole concept and organization of this international cycle stage racing event, the way it was spread all across the country and through the various regions, different scenery and obstacles travelling through cities, small towns and highways and the plans they have for it in the coming years. It's only the 2nd annual edition but has already become a sort of warm up to the Tour de France which takes place later in July, attended by even World, Olympic and other world class champions and other cycling elite. It makes for a very interesting 6 days that's televised around the world also.

(Also, I should quickly mention that I was very impressed with the English language commentators at Eurosport. Not only very knowledgeable in relaying specific information about the stage races and the racers, but also throwing in extra interesting information for the benefit of the viewer during the aerial views also. For instance as just one example, during some stage 2 aerial views from Knin to Split, he actually briefly informs the viewer how Knin Fortress and Kliss Fortress were built in the 9th century, used as residences of Croatian Kings and were capitals during the Croatian Kingdom in the middle ages. Now that there is some useful interesting information for the average viewer that they may not have known. (I touched upon this topic at a Croatian castles and fortresses post HERE btw) He could have easily just said something like... "Oh, well look at that there, we see some nice views of the mountains and some buildings over there, clouds, an old fortress on a hill and it's a nice sunny day with a 20% chance of precipitation and the birds are chirping..." They did similar things like that a number of times during aerial views of other castles, buildings and the surrounding terrain, adding brief informative tidbits for the viewer over the helicopter sounds. Now that's top-notch professionalism and colour commentating all the way I say, which adds to the ambiance of the cycling stage races viewing experience because then the viewer knows what the hell it is exactly that they're looking at)

I hope down the road they add more racing stages to the Tour of Croatia. Also something that would be cool and worth considering is if they built a temporary ramp leading right up to Knin and Kliss Fortresses and have the riders pass above and practically right through them, now that would make for some interesting aerial views too. Heck, if we can set up an outdoor professional hockey game in a 2000 year old amphiltheatre in Pula in the month of September, then building a temporary ramp route would be nothing, let them race right over and through the medieval fortress next time I say.

And just as a final reminder for those unfamiliar, there were 6 stages this time including over 1000 kilometres distance travelled by the racers, passing through 12 host cities and more than 100 different sites, as well as almost 10 hours of live TV broadcast beamed around the world by Eurosport, Croatian Radio Television (HRT) and numerous other television stations from around the world, also including 20 teams representing Switzerland, United States, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel and more. Also the Croatian Meridiana - Kamen Team was back again and 8 Croatian riders in total, Radoslav Rogina, David Jabuka, Emanuel Kišerlovski, Mateo Franković, Paolo Rigo, Bruno Maltar, Matija Kvasina and Josip Rumac represented their respective teams. This 2nd edition is comparable to a Croatian version of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España and other UCI World Tour stage races.


Next year you can again watch live streams of the races at HRTi, Eurosport and a bunch of other places again, below is where I took the images from and where you can find out more:


www.facebook.com/TourOfCroatia2015

www.flickr.com/photos/tourofcroatia

www.youtube.com/channel/tourofcroatia

www.instagram.com/tourofcroatia


More information about this years teams, riders, locations, routes, plans for future Tour of Croatia events and other media at the Tour of Croatia official website: www.tourofcroatia.com.


Previous posts: london-mayor-recommends-biking-in-sutivan?

 photos-of-day-tour-of-croatia-cycling-2016

photos-of-day-2015-tour-of-croaita




Images of the last 3 stages are random in no particular order.





































What the heck, just one Walmart People photo that peeps keep asking for, I couldn't resist because there's some really good recent ones added and videos too, consider it a public service announcement.












Highlights of stage 4 from the coastal area Crikvenica through the city of Rijeka to the Učka park mountain range. (156 km)




Highlights of the stage 5 team time trials from the town of Pula to Umag. (162 km)




Highlights from the final stage 6 from Sveti Martin na Muri at the Slovenian-Hungarian border to the city of Zagreb. (160 km)
















































Extra bonus video footage from the last 3 stages. Stage 4 where Matija Kvasina surprisingly becomes overall leader, starting from Crikvenica and through the city of Rijeka to the Učka mountains (156 km)




 Final kilometers from stage 5 team time trials from town of Pula to Umag (162 km)




Final kilometers from last stage 6 from the town of Sveti Martin na Muri to Zagreb (160 km)



















































Final General Classification After Completion Of 6th Stage


 Final Position/Rider Name/Country/Team/Time Result:


1 Matija Kvasina (Cro) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 23:29:29
2 Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff Team 0:00:24
3 Víctor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:00:32
4 Felix Grosschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:00:47
5 Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Adria Mobil 0:01:16
6 Domen Novak (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:01:47
7 Kirill Pozdnyakov (Rus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 0:02:19
8 Markus Eibegger (Aut) Team Felbermayr - Simplon Wels 0:03:26
9 Scott Davies (GBr) Team WIGGINS 0:03:38
10 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:50
11 Jordi Simon (Spa) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team 0:03:53
12 Daniel Pearson (GBr) Team WIGGINS 0:05:01
13 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff Team 0:05:39
14 Richard Handley (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling 0:05:42
15 Maksym Averin (Aze) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 0:06:15
16 Brecht Dhaene (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:06:54
17 Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:07:27
18 Emanuel Kiserlovski (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team 0:07:28
19 Marko Pavlic (Slo) Cycling Academy Team 0:07:45
20 Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling 0:08:19
21 James Oram (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling 0:08:48
22 Jetse Bol (Ned) Continental Team Join-S de Rijke 0:10:09
23 Jure Golcer (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:10:52
24 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team 0:10:56
25 Robbert De Greef (Ned) Continental Team Join-S de Rijke 0:11:05
26 Davide Mucelli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team 0:11:38
27 Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:11:55
28 Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk 0:12:54
29 Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling 0:12:59
30 Antonio Santoro (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team 0:13:09
31 Liam Holohan (GBr) Team WIGGINS 0:13:50
32 Ivan Savitskiy (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:13:56
33 Izidor Penko (Slo) Radenska - Ljubljana 0:13:57
34 Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:14:02
35 Sander Cordeel (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:14:30
36 Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:14:36
37 David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk 0:15:02
38 Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 0:15:35
39 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 0:15:42
40 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:16:03
41 Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:16:13
42 Elchin Asadov (Aze) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 0:16:39
43 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data 0:16:40
44 Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:17:39
45 Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team 0:17:54
46 Bruno Maltar (Cro) Radenska - Ljubljana 0:18:00
47 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
48 Ziga Rucigaj (Slo) Radenska - Ljubljana 0:18:13
49 Mark Christian (GBr) Team WIGGINS 0:18:51
50 Wouter Mol (Ned) Continental Team Join-S de Rijke 0:19:43
51 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:21:56
52 Aydar Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:22:13
53 Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:22:43
54 Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:22:47
55 Sergio Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff Team 0:24:07
56 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:24:16
57 Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Felbermayr - Simplon Wels 0:24:29
58 Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Continental Team Join-S de Rijke 0:24:57
59 Elia Favilli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team 0:25:01
60 Alexey Kurbatov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:25:04
61 Michele Viola (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team 0:25:07
62 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:25:10
63 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Team 0:25:15
64 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data 0:25:52
65 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team 0:25:59
66 Stef Van Zummeren (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:26:29
67 Gasper Katrasnik (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:26:40
68 Pawel Franczak (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team 0:26:56
69 Javier Megias (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk 0:27:06
70 Adam Stachowiak (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team 0:27:11
71 David Per (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:27:57
72 Alberto Nardin (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:28:34
73 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:28:37
74 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling 0:28:47
75 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk 0:29:10
76 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cycling Academy Team 0:29:28
77 Marcel Aregger (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:29:41
78 Luuc Bugter (Ned) Continental Team Join-S de Rijke 0:29:49
79 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:29:53
80 Erik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff Team 0:29:57
81 Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:30:19
82 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data 0:30:22
83 Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:30:23
84 Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk 0:30:33
85 Tilen Finkst (Slo) Radenska - Ljubljana 0:30:51
86 Artur Ershov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:30:53
87 Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:31:01
88 Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:31:54
89 Samir Jabrayilov (Aze) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 0:31:57
90 Kamil Gradek (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team 0:31:58
91 Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo 0:32:51
92 Marcin Mrozek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:32:54
93 Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:33:04
94 Andrew Tennant (GBr) Team WIGGINS 0:33:33
95 Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:33:51
96 Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:34:03
97 Elias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:34:08
98 Daan Meijers (Ned) Continental Team Join-S de Rijke 0:34:18
99 Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Continental Team Join-S de Rijke 0:34:19
100 Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:34:28
101 Kirill Sveshnikov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:34:47
102 Robert Jenko (Slo) Radenska - Ljubljana 0:34:49
103 Johannes Schinnagel (Ger) Team Felbermayr - Simplon Wels 0:34:55
104 Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:35:18
105 Jon Bozic (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:35:25
106 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:35:37
107 Joeri Calleeuw (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:36:45
108 Matej Drinovec (Slo) Adria Mobil 0:37:09
109 Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling 0:37:24
110 Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk 0:37:31
111 Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff Team 0:38:22
112 Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team 0:38:30
113 Nick Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data
114 David Jabuka (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team 0:39:38
115 Aviv Yechezkel (Isr) Cycling Academy Team 0:40:10
116 Rok Korosec (Slo) Radenska - Ljubljana 0:40:30
117 Lukasz Bodnar (Pol) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team 0:41:16
118 Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling 0:41:29
119 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data 0:41:46
120 Kevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk 0:42:13
121 Josip Rumac (Cro) Synergy Baku Cycling Project 0:43:36
122 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec 0:43:52
123 Joshua Hunt (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling 0:44:12
124 Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data 0:45:39
125 Nicolas Lefrancois (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk 0:46:14
126 Simon Pellaud (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:47:44




 Tour of Croatia 2016 race stages and routes:

1. Osijek – Varaždin (259 km)
2. NP Plitvice – Split (249 km)
3. Makarska – Šibenik (193 km)
4. Crikvenica – Učka (156 km)
5. Pula – Umag (162 km)
6. Sveti Martin na Muri - Zagreb (160 km)









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